Thunderbolt™ 3 Port issue? | PCSPECIALIST

Thunderbolt™ 3 Port issue?

pinerush

Active member
Hello lovely people,

I have been looking all week for the perfect setup, and then I discovered PC Specialist. What an amazingly refreshing company :)

My issue: I want a PC that has a fantastic processor for music and video production. The only decent spec I have been able to find, though - within my budget of approximately £1200 - has been on the gaming laptops. I record and mix using monitor speakers - not headphones - so the overheating and noise from a gaming laptop would make recording impossible, particularly as I mix at very low levels.

Then I came across your all-in-one PC. I was so happy because, at last, I had found a configuration with a brilliant processor that could handle multi-functional plugins and so forth, minus the noisy fans and NVIDIA graphics cards. I am not saying I don't want a NVIDIA graphics card. The idea was to connect an external GPU using a Thunderbolt™ 3 Port, thus removing the noise problem during recording. It seems I have been scuppered at the last fence. Please please please can a Thunderbolt™ 3 Port be fitted to the all-in-one PC? Please say this isn't an impossibility? If not, is there an alternative? Nothing matches what PC Specialist has to offer.

Please peruse the following spec. Do you think it would be OK for what I need?

Chassis & Display
VanGuard Series: 23.8" Non-Touch Screen with Adjustable Stand (1920 x 1080, 60Hz 100% sRGB)

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i7 Eight Core Processor i7-9700 (3.0GHz) 12MB Cache

Motherboard
ASUS® H310T R2.0: (Mini-ITX, DDR4, USB 3.1, 6Gb/s)

Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair 2400MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 16GB)

Graphics Card
Integrated Intel® HD Graphics

1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA 120 2.5" SSD, (up to 560MB/sR | 540MB/sW)

1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB INTEL® 660p M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD (up to 1500MB/sR | 1000MB/sW)

Memory Card Reader
Integrated SD Memory Card Reader

Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf UK Power Cable

Sound Card
2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack

Wireless/Wired Networking
GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (2.4 Gbps) + BT 5.0

USB/Thunderbolt Options
4 x USB 3.0 PORTS + 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS AS STANDARD

Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence

Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language

Windows Recovery Media
Windows 10 Multi-Language Recovery Image - Unlimited Downloads from Online Account

Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)

Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE

Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)

Speakers
2 x INTEGRATED SPEAKERS

Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)

Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)

Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 21 to 23 working days

Quantity
1

Many thanks for your help.

All the best,

John
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Please please please can a Thunderbolt™ 3 Port be fitted to the all-in-one PC? Please say this isn't an impossibility?
Thunderbolt is not something you can add modularly, it's part of the motherboard, and the motherboards on the AIO's don't carry thunderbolt at this stage.

Thunderbolt on PC is still quite a niche thing as it's Intel only, plus is only really found on high end boards and Mac's (outside of laptops).

The next version of thunderbolt is going to pair with USB, so USB 4 will actually be a thunderbolt port universally across any device.
 

pinerush

Active member
Thunderbolt is not something you can add modularly, it's part of the motherboard, and the motherboards on the AIO's don't carry thunderbolt at this stage.

Thunderbolt on PC is still quite a niche thing as it's Intel only, plus is only really found on high end boards and Mac's (outside of laptops).

The next version of thunderbolt is going to pair with USB, so USB 4 will actually be a thunderbolt port universally across any device.
Thank you SpiderTracks. Do you mean or include Gaming Laptops re high end boards as I have noticed PC Specialist provide a thunderbolt connector for their Gaming Laptops? I have also noticed that, for example, brands like Acer, Asus, Dell, Huawei and Lenovo all have laptops with thunderbolt connectors, but their processors aren't as good as the i7-9700.

Apart from getting a MAC, is there a solution?
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Thank you SpiderTracks. Do you mean or include Gaming Laptops re high end boards as I have noticed PC Specialist provide a thunderbolt connector for their Gaming Laptops? I have also noticed that, for example, brands like Acer, Asus, Dell, Huawei and Lenovo all have laptops with thunderbolt connectors, but their processors aren't as good as the i7-9700.

Apart from getting a MAC, is there a solution?
Yes, that's what I meant, most Intel laptops will now have thunderbolt as standard, it's just desktops that don't.
 

pinerush

Active member
Absolutely gutted, but I appreciate the info SpyderTracks. I am still slightly confused, though, because aren't AIOs different to Desktops? It looks like you can get AIOs on the market that support Thunderbolt. Is that right or am I back to square one with searching for a solution?
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
Absolutely gutted, but I appreciate the info SpyderTracks. I am still slightly confused, though, because aren't AIOs different to Desktops? It looks like you can get AIOs on the market that support Thunderbolt. Is that right or am I back to square one with searching for a solution?
All-In-Ones are almost like a Windows version of an iMac in that it's a complete unit which isn't upgradeable (although MSI did release an upgradeable one back in 2015 but no clue if it's still around or not). From what I can see, Thunderbolt support in the AIO world is pretty limited (there could be others but the main ones with TB support are 2 HP Envys and the iMac) so, unless the supplier that PCS uses includes TB, then they wouldn't offer it.
 

sibun1

Well-known member
I kinda thought AllInOne was a phase and would disappear... Wouldnt it be far better to have a micro system and separate monitor, and just have the system tucked out the way?

I would of thought you would be able to get a better price that way too?
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
I kinda thought AllInOne was a phase and would disappear... Wouldnt it be far better to have a micro system and separate monitor, and just have the system tucked out the way?

I would of thought you would be able to get a better price that way too?
My thoughts too, I wouldn't give an AIO houseroom.
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
If you want quietness then you need to go with a system designed for quietness rather than restricting yourself to certain components. I have drawn up a spec for as quiet a system as you will get for your budget (well, a bit over but you did say around £1200 and the extra is definitely worth it)....it has a case designed for quietness (sound proofing/deadening on all sides), the fans for the CPU cooler are as quiet as you can get (they are magnetic levitation rather than traditional fans so make much less noise....difference bewteen a Maglev train and a British Rail train on traditional tracks), it has a quiet PSU where the fan only comes on when the system is under high load so is very quiet.

I honestly am not sure you would get anything quieter, even using an external GPU:

Case
FRACTAL DEFINE 7 BLACK QUIET MID-TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT Six Core CPU (4.5GHz/35MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® TUF GAMING B550-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.2, 6Gb/s) - ARGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
4GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650 SUPER - HDMI
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB PCS PCIe M.2 SSD (2000 MB/R, 1100 MB/W)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 750W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2,400Mbps/5GHz, 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KK3-00002]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
TIMED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND - MON-FRI (BEFORE 2PM)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 21 to 23 working days
Price: £1,380.00 including VAT and Delivery
Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/rK0qseRqqJ/

Wasn't sure what level GPU you were looking at so just put in a basic 1080p one
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
I will add that systems with the same case, cooler and PSU with much more powerful GPUs have been recommended on here for music production and video editing and I have not noticed anyone coming back to say the system was too noisy for them or anything
 

sibun1

Well-known member
I know its not what the OP was originally looking for, but if you are doing music production and video, the option of a small system thats tucked away would eliminate the need for a separate GPU, you are then able to get a higher res monitor (and if reliant on monitor having speakers, probably better speakers as you could get a quality monitor).

If you think about what it is you need from the screen and then how quiet you need to be separately, with a micro system you can put it out the way and if its got decent fans and PSU in there, you wont hear it. You can gear a spec toward quiet processing power, it doesnt have to run full blast like a gaming pc would.

Things like ML120 are so silent you need to check they are on, decent PSU and often fan doesnt even engage below 30% output
I think £1200 would go further than way too.
 

sibun1

Well-known member
If you want quietness then you need to go with a system designed for quietness rather than restricting yourself to certain components. I have drawn up a spec for as quiet a system as you will get for your budget (well, a bit over but you did say around £1200 and the extra is definitely worth it)....it has a case designed for quietness (sound proofing/deadening on all sides), the fans for the CPU cooler are as quiet as you can get (they are magnetic levitation rather than traditional fans so make much less noise....difference bewteen a Maglev train and a British Rail train on traditional tracks), it has a quiet PSU where the fan only comes on when the system is under high load so is very quiet.

I honestly am not sure you would get anything quieter, even using an external GPU:

Case
FRACTAL DEFINE 7 BLACK QUIET MID-TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT Six Core CPU (4.5GHz/35MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® TUF GAMING B550-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.2, 6Gb/s) - ARGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
4GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650 SUPER - HDMI
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB PCS PCIe M.2 SSD (2000 MB/R, 1100 MB/W)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 750W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2,400Mbps/5GHz, 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KK3-00002]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
TIMED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND - MON-FRI (BEFORE 2PM)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 21 to 23 working days
Price: £1,380.00 including VAT and Delivery
Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/rK0qseRqqJ/

Wasn't sure what level GPU you were looking at so just put in a basic 1080p one
Just a question now, as its for music here...
Would it be worth adding a sound card? Normally would say no as onboard has caught up so much, and he is talking about monitor speakers which means its never going to be true audiophile grade, but in terms of the recording equipment?
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
Just a question now, as its for music here...
Would it be worth adding a sound card? Normally would say no as onboard has caught up so much, and he is talking about monitor speakers which means its never going to be true audiophile grade, but in terms of the recording equipment?
It really depends on what level the OP is at....most people doing music production on a PC would be using an external DAC so it would negate a sound card anyway. Without an external DAC then a sound card may be of some use as it may give greater scope for equaliser choices etc. Difficult without knowing the hardware and software being used for the music production
 

pinerush

Active member
I kinda thought AllInOne was a phase and would disappear... Wouldnt it be far better to have a micro system and separate monitor, and just have the system tucked out the way?

I would of thought you would be able to get a better price that way too?
Hi Sibun1,

Thanks for the heads up re AIOs :) Because I've read so many reviews and benchmark reports about how noisy gaming laptops are, it led me down the path to AIOs. I had never thought of micro systems. Do you mean mini PCs?
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
Hi Sibun1,

Thanks for the heads up re AIOs :) Because I've read so many reviews and benchmark reports about how noisy gaming laptops are, it led me down the path to AIOs. I had never thought of micro systems. Do you mean mini PCs?
Yes, he is referring to mini PCs or what are sometimes referred to as "small form factor" of SFF. Basically a small cube like system instead of a tower....however, I'd generally only go for one of them if it's absolutely necessary as for optimal cooling, it needs more fans etc which may make it noisier.

I honestly think the best way to go is with the spec I posted earlier but it's up to you of course
 

sibun1

Well-known member
Hi Sibun1,

Thanks for the heads up re AIOs :) Because I've read so many reviews and benchmark reports about how noisy gaming laptops are, it led me down the path to AIOs. I had never thought of micro systems. Do you mean mini PCs?
Full size, mid and micro (or mini... I confuse the sizes but three basically).
As Nurse says, with a bigger case you get better cooling, and also there are cases designed to be very quiet like the one mentioned.
I was thinking space was a restriction.

Its just the tech in AIO's is so limited and for the same price you can get so much more.
Just because a PC is powerful it doesnt make it a gaming machine, and equally, gaming machines arent always noisey
Its about what you want the machine to do. If you dont care about fan noise (like some gamers dont) then you dont worry about the parts that make it (like fans) but there are fans that are practically silent like the ML120's.
Cases can come with soundproofing too (like above)...a system really is what you make it, a few careful choices and you will never even know if its turned on.
 

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
Bear in mind that with an SFF machine, due to the limited space and airflow, the fans will likely have to work harder to move the air thereby making more noise (unless you spend money upgrading to silent fans etc)
 

pinerush

Active member
If you want quietness then you need to go with a system designed for quietness rather than restricting yourself to certain components. I have drawn up a spec for as quiet a system as you will get for your budget (well, a bit over but you did say around £1200 and the extra is definitely worth it)....it has a case designed for quietness (sound proofing/deadening on all sides), the fans for the CPU cooler are as quiet as you can get (they are magnetic levitation rather than traditional fans so make much less noise....difference bewteen a Maglev train and a British Rail train on traditional tracks), it has a quiet PSU where the fan only comes on when the system is under high load so is very quiet.

I honestly am not sure you would get anything quieter, even using an external GPU:

Case
FRACTAL DEFINE 7 BLACK QUIET MID-TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT Six Core CPU (4.5GHz/35MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® TUF GAMING B550-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.2, 6Gb/s) - ARGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
32GB Corsair VENGEANCE RGB PRO DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card
4GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1650 SUPER - HDMI
1st Storage Drive
2TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 256MB CACHE
1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB PCS PCIe M.2 SSD (2000 MB/R, 1100 MB/W)
Power Supply
CORSAIR 750W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM Hydro Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 2,400Mbps/5GHz, 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence [KK3-00002]
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
TIMED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND - MON-FRI (BEFORE 2PM)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 21 to 23 working days
Price: £1,380.00 including VAT and Delivery
Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/rK0qseRqqJ/

Wasn't sure what level GPU you were looking at so just put in a basic 1080p one
Wow, this is amazing Nursemorph. My only concern would be the processor as the i7-9700 seems to out perform the AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT on bench mark tests. Also, there seems to be potential compatibility issues with AMD and VST plugins/MIDI controllers. I was thinking of using the Nvidia Geforce RTX 2070 as an external GPU, which I guess would up the price. Would it also up the noise and heat? The idea of using an external GPU was to have some kind of control over noise levels - to only have noise from the fan during video production. I don't know if that would be a practical solution. I have read so many reviews and benchmark tests about noise and overheating, hence the paranoia. Your thoughts on all this would be very much appreciated :)
 
Last edited:

Nursemorph

Spamtastic
I wouldn't read too much into benchmark tests as a lot of sites have significant bias towards Intel whereby all the tests are designed to favour Intel over AMD. The only place that Intel chip will outperform the 3600XT would be in high number multi-core processes as it has more cores than the AMD chip...in single core, the AMD will be much better due to it's much higher clock rate as well as being a much newer chip. There are very few instances now where we'd recommend Intel over AMD.

The compatibility with VST and MIDI is not something I have any knowledge on unfortunately.

As to the external GPU, it will be much more expensive as it needs the housing for the GPU as well as the GPU itself....but I'm not sure whether it would be any different as the system would use whatever GPU resources it needed whether it's an internal or external card. Also not really sure how soundproofed the external enclosures are.

I'm not an audio person to any stretch of the imagination (beyond appreciating music and audio quality) but, if I was looking for a system, I'd much rather get an entire system designed for quietness and airflow than get maybe a noisier system with one or 2 bits designed for quietness. As I said before, the system I specced up is about as quiet a system as you can get that doesn't sacrifice airflow
 
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